Bumbershoot Guide

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bumbershoot 2010

Monsters of Alt

TV Pilots vs. Baboon Attacks

Previews of Every Single Thing Happening at the Festival

People's Republic of Komedy vs. People's Republic of China

The Stranger's 2012 Bumbershoot Guide!

The Stranger's 2011 Bumbershoot Guide!

Our Massive 2013 Bumbershoot Guide

Bumbershoot 2009

Gogol Bordello vs. DeVotchka

The Stranger's Bumbershoot Guide

How Does It Feel to Be Back?

Mad Ruins

The Bob Dylan Torture Test

Still a Gigolo!

Touch Me, I'm Sub Pop's Warehouse Manager

The Shins vs. Their Future

Here's What We Think of Every Damn Thing Happening at This Year's Festival

Give It to Me Easy

Rock, Chunk, or Rule

Fergie vs. Jackson Pollock

Bumbershoot 2009

Emerald Shitty

De La Soul for Life

Hari's Big Break

Friday, August 31

I'm More Than Hair

Yes, Aloha!

Let Them Bring You Brown

Countdown to Courtney

Every year, The Stranger publishes this inexplicably popular Bumbershoot guide and all the wafting marijuana smoke and deep-fat-fried Twinkies cause ordinarily decent, law-abiding Seattleites to turn to the preferred resource of criminally minded sex addicts. No wonder Bumbershoot organizers typically invite Stranger hacks to host events: It is evidently extortion, probably delivered via threatening e-mail missives that say things like "PUT US ONSTAYGE OR WE RITE BAD STUF BOUT YU HA-HA."

However, this particular literary/artistic/musical event is too egregious a conflict of interest for me to ignore. It's true enough that as part of this program the author Sherman Alexie will be reading (with musical accompaniment) "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," a marvelous short story that originally appeared in the New Yorker. Alexie is an exemplar of Seattle's first-rate literary community, though why he continues to associate himself with gutter filth like The Stranger is beyond me. The Stranger-associated felons and deviants who round out the program include the paper's most famous comic artist, Ellen Forney; former associate editor Sean Nelson (who is also a well-known musician); Stranger contributor Trisha Ready; and The Stranger's editor-in-chief, Christopher Frizzelle.

Apparently, Ready, when not constructing incomprehensible essays about her feelings, is part of a country and western band called the West Marginals, and they will perform some sort of honky-tonk paean to the works of Annie Dillard and Pablo Neruda. Just as the audience recovers from that cacophony, Forney, Nelson, and Frizzelle will hold forth on their not-at-all-interesting love for the work of the American hit-makers Hall & Oates. Rumor has it Nelson may even caterwaul an approximation of their songs. Then Alexie will read.

One can only hope that Alexie has a secret plan in mind for this occasion. Maybe he has waited, patiently, to earn the trust of this band of self-abusers so as to all the more spectacularly and at long last publicly humiliate them, revealing them for the frauds that they are. I will be there, in the front row, ready to lead the taunts. recommended